Bharat bandh: Violence, arrest, chaos; one-day strike a ‘grand success’

With Labour Minister Bandaru Dattatreya and Labour Secretary Shankar Agarwal away to attend the G-20 labour minister's conference, the labour ministry remained silent on the impact of the strike but trade unions leaders have termed it a “grand success”.

Written by Surabhi | New Delhi | Updated: September 2, 2015 7:12 pm
bharat bandh, bandh, strike, nationwide strike, shutdown, all india strike, trade union strike, labour law, protest, countyrywide strike, CITU leader Shyamal Chakraborty addresses a rally in Kolkata on Tuesday (September 1) in support of 2nd September’s strike to protest aganist the proposed labour reforms by Central and State Government. (Source: PTI)

Over 11 lakh workers and 15,000 unions participated in the countrywide general strike called by 10 central trade unions on Wednesday which hit essential services including banking and insurance, transport, port and dock operations, coal mining and manufacturing units.

CPI(M) and Trinamool Congress workers clashed here during the general strike called by trade unions. Nearly 200 persons were arrested from different parts of the state.

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According to labour leaders, this is the 16th country-wide strike since policies for economic liberalisation started in 1991. The last time workers struck work was in February 2013 when trade unions had called for a 48-hour strike against the government’s anti-worker policies.

With Labour Minister Bandaru Dattatreya and Labour Secretary Shankar Agarwal away to attend the G-20 labour minister’s conference, the labour ministry remained silent on the impact of the strike but trade unions leaders have termed it a “grand success”.

“All workers have participated in it. Transport services are completely on strike in most parts of the country. Workers have struck work even as public sector undertakings,” said AK Padmanabhan, president, Centre of Indian Trade Unions.

Many production units are understood to have announced a holiday for workers while workers in the industrial belt in Gurgaon-Manesar have also participated in the strike. Civil defence operations also participated in the strike while railway unions are understood to have participated in demonstrations. The strike in West Bengal was only partly successful.

A number of shops and establishments as well as informal sector workers also participated in the strike.

Agreed AD Nagpal, general secretary, Hind Mazdoor Sabha, “The strike has been successful. We hope that the government will now take up workers’ issues more seriously.”

However, the Indian National Trade Union Congress on Wednesday decided to pull out of the strike in the “national interest”.

“A strike will be dangerous for the political and economic situation,” said Ashok Chaudhari, national president, INTUC.

RSS affiliate Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh and National Front of Indian Trade Unions had already withdrawn from the strike to give the government time to deliver on its promises.

Central trade unions including INTUC, AITUC, HMS, CITU, AIUTUC, TUCC, SEWA, AICCTU, UTUC and LPF decided to go on the strike after talks over a 12 point charter of demand including minimum wages, universalisaiton of social security and withdrawal of policies on FDI and disinvestment failed last week.

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  1. H
    Sep 3, 2015 at 12:00 am
    Govt needs to listen ,deliver and act promptly about labour reforms. It must proceed and fulfill the promises for the welfare and wellbeing and other genuine needs of the unorganized workers at an earliest day.......before they go out of control! Why this govt is inefficient and ineffective on OROP , labour reforms, police reforms, judiciary reforms ,dearness, unemployment, inflation, decreasing GDP, and rupee's value and other economic matters ? Why it does not work smartly and sincerely? Who prevents these ministers? Their so called IAS officers or their own will power? Work hard, give prompt results if you want to exist, win the next election and save the country!!Introspect !
    1. R
      Sep 2, 2015 at 7:23 pm
      Anything anti-national is a huge success for CPI and CON-gress (CON-g only when in opposition)
      1. C
        Sep 2, 2015 at 9:54 pm
        Can you share their 12 point charter of Demands
        1. G
          George Cruz
          Sep 2, 2015 at 8:14 pm
          The TMC and communists haven't contributed anything to improve Bengal's economy for decades and is and has been blocking any economic development proposed by the BJP. The leaders like Shyamal Chakraborty, Sitaram Yechury, Mamta, Derek O'Brian, etc are pseudo secular leaders who are looking after their own interests rather than India's interest.
          1. K
            KP Pillai
            Sep 2, 2015 at 6:01 pm
            Bharat Ratna to organisers of the Bandh !!!. You all won and India lost !!!
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